Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'm Not Your Psychic Friend

A while back, if you watched late night TV, you'd see Miss Cleo, the Jamacian psychic who would urge you to call her or one of her Psychic Friends to see what your future held. Now, some believe in psychics and others don’t. However, even the most ardent psychics realize that the average person possesses no such abilities … and yet, many of us seem to think that loving someone or having a longstanding relationship with them affords them the ability to read our minds.

It doesn’t.

Countless times, I have heard my girlfriends lament about what their men should know. I have friends who feel that because we have been friends for so long and can often finish each other’s sentences that I should always know what they are thinking and feeling. Well, I don’t.

Love – be it for a romantic partner, parent, child or friend – is a many splendored thing but one thing love isn’t, is a mind reader. If you want someone to know what you want or what you are thinking, you have to use an old-fashion, non-clairvoyant way of getting your point across. You have to tell them.

That’s right, you have to tell them. Don’t point, gesture, or pantomime. Don’t hint, suggest, cajole, or infer. Open your mouth and tell them what you want or what you are unhappy about or what you need to have your needs met.
You can’t fault anyone for not picking up on your subtle micro-expression or your that weird thing you do with your eyes. No, instead, just speak it … Speak it clearly and plainly.

Here are three suggestions that will help.

  1. Remove the emotion. Don’t wait until you are upset or fed up to talk. If you are upset and fed up, talk to a friend and vent, take a walk, or just wait until a better time. State your case without extra and excessive emotion.
  2. Own it. Don’t start out with the accusatory finger of blame and sentences that start with “You always” or “Why don’t you ever…” Own your words by using ‘I’ statements and avoiding words like always and never because they tend to make a bad situation worse.
  3. Be specific. It’s not ‘I need you to help around the house.” It’s “I need you to take out the garbage once a week and to clean up after yourself when you cook in the kitchen.” Don’t assume that the other person knows what you are talking about … most likely they don’t (at least not to the level that you want them to).

Remember, it doesn't take a Magic 8-Ball, a Ouija board or the right roll of the dice to get your point across. All it takes is a few choice words.

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